Bluffton doctor gets max sentence

A Bluffton doctor was back in court for sentencing after being convicted last month.

71-year-old James Gideon was handed the max penalty for his conviction on three counts of sexual imposition, each a third-degree misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 180 days in county jail and faces a 1500 dollar fine. Gideon faced five accusations but was found guilty on only three of them. The state had suggested the heaviest penalty but the defense suggested that the possible loss of his medical license would be assurance Gideon wouldn't commit any further offenses. Judge Tammie Hursh said she was startled by the defendant's pattern of behavior.

The defense argued Gideon already lost so much as a punishment, including his practice and the suspension of his license. According to the state, Gideon has 19 pending complaints against him with the state medical board.

The defense was planning to appeal the ruling but until thenĀ Gideon will begin serving his sentence.